Wilson Making Strides
By Rob Ogden
Freshman Dontre Wilson is still waiting for his breakout performance, but rest assured, it's coming.
Photo by Jim Davidson
"It's close," Wilson said following Ohio State's 63-14 win over Penn State Saturday night. "Every game I get a little more opportunities to make plays and this game I got a lot of them."
Wilson had three touches for 47 yards against the Nittany Lions, the most yards from scrimmage he's recorded since going for 116 against Cal on Sept. 14.
He took a swing pass from quarterback Braxton Miller in the third quarter and dashed 26 yards to the end zone, sidestepping a defender in the process.
It was Wilson's second touchdown of the year and his first since Sept. 7.
Wilson's role in the offense has slowly been increasing since coach Urban Meyer said the freshman needed to become a more complete player in order to get more playing time.
He didn't get a single touch during the Buckeyes' Oct. 5 win at Northwestern, and Meyer said following the game that Wilson's inability to block was the reason.
"I'm going harder and harder at practice every week," Wilson said. "Coach wants me to be a more complete receiver and that's what I'm doing. I'm getting a lot more opportunities to show everybody what I can do.
"I always went hard at practice but lately I've been blocking a lot better."
He's proving it on the field. Late in the third quarter Saturday night, Wilson threw a lead block for running back Jordan Hall near the goal line as Hall dove towards the end zone.
It's that type of play that Meyer said he's looking for more out Wilson.
"He's a novelty right now as opposed to a full time player," Meyer said about Wilson following the Northwestern game. "Full time players have to go block Sam linebackers and those kind of things and we are not quite ready, but we are working at it."
Wilson hasn't registered more than four offensive touches since that game at Cal, but his role in the offense is increasing, as is his playing time.
"As I progress at practice I get more playing time and more touches," he said. "Lately I've been doing pretty good so I've been getting a lot more touches."
Wilson's presence on the field is a welcome one for Miller, who has always spoke glowingly of Wilson's skill set.
"A guy like that, you always give a ball to him on the outside, around the middle, big plays like that," Miller said. "It's always exciting."
Wilson added a 49-yard kickoff return Saturday night that he almost took the distance. He's still waiting for a run like that.
"I haven't gotten it yet," he said. "You'll know when I get it. When I break a 60 or 70-yarder, you'll know."
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